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Cornstarch and Glue Play Dough

 Posted by on May 29, 2013
May 292013

This cornstarch and glue play dough recipe came about when trying to make a batch of slime. We did not get anything resembling a fun slime – just a sticky mess. I refused to let the materials go to waste, so I experimented until we ended up with nice batch of play dough. It is soft and stretchy. I’m glad I was able to turn a recipe fail into something worth while.

Cornstarch and Glue Play Dough

Cornstarch and Glue Play Dough

The Search for a Safer Slime

This recipe started when I was searching for a safer way to make slime. I love the liquid starch and glue slime recipe {equal parts, super easy}, but have you read the ingredient list? Same goes for the borax and glue slimes. I’m not completely convinced that borax is safe for play. I know it’s definitely not safe to ingest. My 3 year old son still likes to taste the play doughs and slimes we make, so I need to be sure of the safety when I make something for him.

The Failed Recipe

I found a recipe from eHow for making slime with glue and cornstarch that looked interesting. I followed the directions and used only 1/4 of each ingredient. After adding the cornstarch to the glue, it looked promising. Then, we added the water. Now it looked too runny. No way that was going to be a decent slime. We were to wait 5 minutes. No change. Still looked like a sticky watery mess. I made some changes and created a soft and stretchy play dough. Not slime, but definitely fun. My son approved of the play dough.

The Soft and Stretchy Play Dough Recipe


  • 1/2 cup white school glue
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch plus more for kneading {at least a cup or so}
  • food coloring {optional}
  • 3/4 cup warm water


  1. Mix 1/2 cup white school glue together with 1/4 cup cornstarch in a bowl.
    Cornstarch and Glue Play Dough
  2. Stir in 3/4 cups of warm water.
  3. Add a few drops of food coloring until you get your desired color.
  4. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. {Not sure this step matters. It came from the original recipe. I followed this step, so I’m including it here.}
    Cornstarch and Glue Play Dough
  5. Transfer the mixture to a pan. Heat over low heat stirring occasionally. The mixture will come together into a very sticky play dough.
    Cornstarch and Glue Play Dough
  6. Transfer the dough to a mat or freezer paper. Allow the play dough to cool a bit.
  7. Once the play dough is cool enough to handle, add some corn starch {a good handful}. Knead the cornstarch into the play dough. You will notice it becomes less sticky. Keep kneading. The dough will become sticky again.
  8. Add more cornstarch. Knead again. Continue adding cornstarch and kneading until the dough is no longer sticky. {It’ll take a few handfuls of cornstarch.}

Cornstarch and Glue Play Dough

Have Fun with the Play Dough

Aiden wanted blue food coloring for our play dough. The additional cornstarch looked like snow or ice, so we added our baby sea animals that Safari Ltd sent us a while back. {See how we played with the backyard bird replicas they sent us, too.}

Play Dough and Safari Ltd Animals

Play dough becomes the vehicle for pretend play and allowing imaginations to take off.

More Play Dough and Slime Recipes

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  17 Responses to “Cornstarch and Glue Play Dough”

  1. Thanks! I’ve never seen this one. Looks like fun!! Can’t wait to try it out!!
    I’ve linked to it at the bottom of my post:
    RCMom recently posted..Eggcelent Ideas for Plastic Eggs!My Profile

  2. It looks like it turned out great, Trisha! Way to turn your “fail” into a WIN! I love that soft blue colour too! Thanks for sharing today. :)

    • Thanks for letting us share, Jackie! I’m really in love with the texture of the play dough, and the blue makes me think calm thoughts.

  3. Way to not give up! I make a playdough on the stovetop with flour but I’ve heard that using cornstarch gives it a smoother, silkier texture. I will have to give it a try! I also make a tasty peanut butter playdough that my son just loves! Its playtime and a snack! (The flour playdough is also edible, but doesn’t taste very good!.) If you want to check the peanut butter one out, here is a link:

    • I’ve never made play dough with cornstarch before this. I’ll have to try our regular flour recipe and use cornstarch sometime. Thanks for the idea! We’ve made peanut butter play dough before, too. I think it may taste a little too good – we can spend more time eating it than playing with it. :)

  4. So awesome!! Love the colour too. Thank you for sharing it at the Kids CoOp. I’ll be featuring this post as part of my Extraordinary Play Dough roundup. xo Pauline recently posted..School Readiness: When To Start SchoolMy Profile

  5. I’m not sure I can be considered an official blogger yet since I have never made my own play dough. This recipe looks so easy, I think even I can manage it. Pinned! Looking forward to trying it out.
    Sam @ Thrive 360 Living recently posted..Rolling Pin StampsMy Profile

  6. Looks lovely! We used the same recipe to make ‘modelling clay'; so you can bake or leave this out to preserve your creations, :)
    Kat recently posted..Mixing Potions at NurtureStoreMy Profile

    • That’s great to know! I wish I would have remembered seeing your recipe. Then, I would have known the other website’s recipe probably wasn’t going to make slime. ha!

  7. You should look at this link. It makes a good play dough and it doesn’t require a pan or heat.

  8. So we tried this today and I’m not sure if I totally messed it up or what, but it did not come out like stretchy play dough at all. We had to add a lot of corn starch to get it to not be sticky, but by then it was too thick and unmalleable. Did I add too much corn starch during the kneeding? I love the idea of this post. We just made silly putty with borax and glue and I had the same thought – like I’m not sure borax is so great to play with… So I’d prefer to figure out how to make something stretchy with glue and corn starch or something else that’s safer.

    • Hi April,
      It sounds like too much corn starch was added. You should be able to add a little more water to loosen the dough up. Check the comments of the post for another recipe a reader shared with just corn starch and glue. I haven’t tried that one yet, but it looks promising and there’s a video.

  9. Thanks for sharing at Discover & Explore – I’m featuring this awesome play dough this week!
    Jacquie recently posted..20 Amazing Scavenger Hunts for SummerMy Profile

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